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2021 Christmas Ham Fundraiser

2021 Christmas Ham Fundraiser

By | Giving

2021 Christmas Ham Fundraiser

We had a great time packing the hams for our annual Christmas Ham Fundraiser. Thanks to all that supported our sold out event!

Kindness Trees

Fairview Senior’s Community Kindness Trees

By | Giving

Kindness Trees

The Rotary Club of Cambridge North (RCN) has again contributed to the Fairview Senior’s Community Kindness Trees. This is the third year for the Kindness Trees at Fairview and this is the second year that RCN has contributed gifts to the residents. The Fairview website states they are: “…a not-for-profit, charitable, faith-based Continuum of Care.” The Fairview community is located at 515 Langs Drive in Cambridge. The website also states: “Fairview is both a home and a community where each person is valued, respected and welcomed. All cultures. All faiths. All financial means.” Since Fairview in inclusive, RCN is keen to support their efforts. More information is available at:

This year, in a repeat to 2020, RCN Rotarian Fred Schiedel led the efforts to purchase 24 gifts for the Kindness Trees. To keep all things warm and fuzzy at Fairview, Rotarian Fred purchased 12 pairs of pajamas and 12 sweaters for the residents. In 2020, Rotarian Fred also purchased pajamas, winter hats, and sweaters for the residents. All of these items came from Mark’s and during both years, where nice discounts were applied. Thanks Mark’s for assisting the Rotary Club of Cambridge North in its support of the Fairview Seniors Community Kindness Trees program.

Meals on Wheels

Rotary Club Of Cambridge North Again Contributes Tomatoes To Meals On Wheels Garden

By | Giving

On 15 June 2021, Rotary Club of Cambridge North (RCN) member Dean Fitzgerald delivered more than 30 tomato plants to Kitchener’s Meals On Wheels (MOW) garden. While sporting a mask, gloves, and Covid-19 inspired long hair, Dean again helped plant nine heirloom varities of red, yellow, and orange tomato included in the 30+ plants grown from his seed collection. Dean planted the tomatos with Leslie Houston, Garden Leader, Community Support Connections, MOW, and one other volunteer. Dean selected these heirloom varieties because they are indeterminate, and thereby produce fruit all season. It was reported that these plants produced fruit from July to September this year! This was the second year that RCN contributed to the garden and the activity was faciliated by Jodi Carreiro, Volunteer and Community Engagement Faciliator. If you are interested in helping out with their facility and activities, Jodi can be reached at:

Meals on Wheels

Photograph 1: View of the 30+ heirloom tomatos destined for the MOW garden.

Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels

Photographs 2 and 3: Rotarian Dean helping plant tomatoes at the MOW garden.

Chilligo Creek Group

Cambridge North Rotary Clean Up of Chilligo Creek Historical Plaque Area

By | Business

People often say that many hands make the work light, and this edict was followed by members of the Rotary Club of Cambridge North (RCN) when then came out in force on Saturday, October 30, 2021 to clean up the shoreline along Chilligo Creek, the historical plaque area, and adjacent trails. This cleaning was needed because nefarious weeds had overgrown the plaque area and trail, garbage was afoot, planted trees required pruning, and it was not feasible to see the water at this 14-acre site. So, RCN members flexed their muscles, fired up their equipment, and filled multiple trailers with weeds, branches, and garbage. This current effort was truly a repeat of historical efforts from back in the early 2000s, when RCN members played an instrumental role to facilitate the removal of the 1830s mill pond on the creek, plant trees, and establish a viewing area of the natural areas. This pond initially supported a sawmill and mill, where they made flour, animal feed, and other necessities, until 1985.

When the dam failed in 2000, it led to the formation of a group to plan the future uses of the area, and this was when RCN former President Stephen Witteveen and other members became extensively involved. This involvement took many forms, from sitting on the steering committee to fund raising. The goal was to raise sufficient funding to facilitate the excavation of the old mill pond, as a means to enhance the bridge, trails, create a new pond, clean up the creek and improve wildlife habitat. These funds came from varied sources, with the largest donations from two families associated with Schiedel Construction and GreenHorizons Group of Companies. As a tribute for the volunteer time contributed by RCN Rotarian Fred Schiedel along with his family’s donated funds, the newly engineered pond was renamed Schiedel Pond. Other funding contributors included the Hiff family, Stantec, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, City of Cambridge, the three Rotary Clubs of Cambridge, Loblaws, Ducks Unlimited, Environment Canada, and the Grand River Conservation Foundation.

With this long history, members of RCN were keen to enhance the existing area around Chilligo Creek, Schiedel Pond, the trails, and the commemorative plaques. These enhancements included pulling nefarious weeds, pruning planted and natural trees, picking garbage, cutting grass along the trails, and starting the process to replace the plaques. We now provide a pictorial overview of RCN Rotarians in action, completing this community service activity.

View of the team of CNR Rotarians and friends involved in the clean up

Photograph 1: View of the team of CNR Rotarians and friends involved in the clean up.

Chilligo Creek Before
Chilligo Creek After

Photographs 2 & 3: View of the plaque area before and after the clean up.

Rotarian Jeff Matyas

Photograph 4: Rotarian Jeff Matyas

CNR President Ken Denholm

Photograph 5: CNR President Ken Denholm

Rotarian Mike Jennings
Rotarian Mike Jennings

Photographs 6 & 7: Rotarian Mike Jennings working the weed snipper and power blower.

Chilligo Creek Group

Photograph 8: Rotarians (from left) Jeff Matyas, Dave Thomas, Mike Jennings, Sean Carragher, Fred Schiedel, Ken Denholm, and Charlotte.

Chilligo Creek Group

Photograph 9: Rotarians (from left) Dave Thomas, Ken Denholm and Fred Schiedel.

Chilligo Creek

Photograph 10: View of one old plaque area that will be replaced during a future RCN project.

Members of the Cambridge Gaming Association

By | Business

Members of the Cambridge Gaming Association

As of Tuesday Feb 16th, the Cambridge Bingo and Gaming Centre has reopened.  The Centre is open daily from 11 am to 1 am

With Waterloo Region in the “Red Zone”, the Centre is allowed 10 Gaming Customers at a time.  The Province of Ontario will be reviewing Health Units every 2 weeks.

Adults in Motion Cambridge

By | Giving

Right here in Cambridge you can find the Adults in Motion organization that provides in-person programs, supports and virtual programming for people with disabilities and their families.  Their mission is to build a strong, safe and supportive community for people with disabilities while meeting needs, creating opportunities and inspiring inclusion.  Donations and community support directly benefits a person with a disability at Adults in Motion.  A community’s inclusion and generosity helps create opportunities, enhance life experiences, and provides social and community connections for people with disabilities.  Adults in Motion invites you to get involved and visit us at or our new location at 653 King St E, in downtown Preston.

The generosity of your $2500 donation from Bingo proceeds will not only help us continue to offer quality programming, but it has also helped us feel connected to our community- which doesn’t come easily these days.

Thank you to all those that support the Cambridge Bingo and Gaming Centre that allowed this donation to happen.

The 27th Annual Rotary Golf Classic Was a Success!

By | Golf Classic

On September 9th, 2019 the Rotary Club of Cambridge North held their 27th Annual Golf Tournament at Galt Country Club in Cambridge. The 84 golfers were treated to a delicious lunch provided by A&W and cooked by Larry and Anita Olney. The scramble tournament featured a Putting Contest (sponsored by Kinder Law), Beat the Pro (sponsored by the Galt Country Club) and Holes in One prizes (sponsored by RBC Dominion Securities/Ken Denholm). The weather was cool but sunny and we greatly appreciate the participation of the teams, sponsors and volunteers. The Tournament raised over $12,000.00 in support of local Cambridge charities including Langs, Self Help Food Bank, Women’s Health Crisis Centre and KidsAbility to name a few.

President Laureen Attending the Rotary Zone Conference in Niagara Falls

By | Fun with Rotary
President Laureen is currently attending the Rotary Zone Conference in Niagara Falls. She has been working with other Rotarians in sharing stories, ideas and projects. It has been an amazing conference already and has just started.
Check out some pictures showing what Laureen’s been up to:

Kaiden’s Elevator

By | Giving

Kaiden was the 2017 KidsAbility Ambassador and is a gentle, sweet, happy 4-year-old little boy. His smile lights up a room, and his giggle is contagious.

Kaiden suffered from West Syndrome as an infant, leaving him with global developmental delays and low muscle tone. With medication, treatment and therapy, he was doing well.

In October 2017, he started having chronic seizures. They are related to his sleep, 99% of his seizures happen in the middle of the night.

On January 2, 2018 Kaiden started having a seizure and, just as with most of his seizures, he was silent. His seizure didn’t stop on its own and wouldn’t stop with medication. Kaiden ended up on a ventilator and airlifted to McMaster Children’s Hospital.

He experienced status epilepticus, and now that he has, he is at a great risk of experiencing it again. It is dangerous and life threatening. Because Kaiden’s seizures are silent and because none of the seizure alarms available will properly detect all his seizures, one of his parents must be awake all the time to monitor him and make sure he doesn’t go into status epilepticus again.

His dad stays awake all night to watch Kaiden on the baby monitor, while his mother, is his full-time caretaker during the day. On average Kaiden has anywhere from 2 to 6 seizures a week, sometimes up to 3 in one night, but the timing is always unpredictable, leaving his parents feeling constantly on edge and unable to relax.

Kaiden is such a beautiful and strong little boy. He is a hero to so many people. His strength and determination are amazing. Through a realtor friend the family has been blessed to acquire a Waterloo home to renovate to accommodate Kaiden’s special mobility needs.

Thanks to the help of Mike Jennings’ contacts at Cambridge Elevating, an elevator has been installed in their home that will allow Kaiden to navigate the three stories safely and relieve the parents from having to carry this growing 4-year-old up and down stairs daily.

The Funding Process

After becoming aware of Kaiden’s family’s plight Jamie Hamilton, the president of Cambridge Elevating committed to donating in time, labour and materials one third of the cost of the elevator and installation. This amounted to $10,000 towards the total project cost of $30,000.

With this contribution Mike Jennings, the president of the Rotary Club of Cambridge North went to work to raise the balance of the money needed to pay for the elevator.

The board of the Cambridge North Club unanimously supported a donation of $5000 to get the ball rolling. Then Mike reached out directly to the Rotary Clubs in Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo.

Over the months of January through June 2019 the following clubs donated $2000 each:

  • Cambridge Sunrise
  • Preston Hespeler
  • Kitchener Grand River
  • Kitchener Conestoga
  • Kitchener

Finally, representatives from the above clubs gathered to see the finished elevator and meet Kaiden and his parents Joe and Melissa in person.

Thank you to all the club presidents for their championing of this important initiative.

Kaiden and Melissa in his new elevator! 

Jamie Hamilton (president of Cambridge Elevating) receives a cheque for $15,000 from Mike Jennings representing the contributing clubs.

Gathering to “cut the ribbon” on the new elevator. From left to right: Richard Bruckeder (Kitchener Rotary Club), Doug Palubiski (Kitchener Conestoga Rotary Club), Steve and Sandra Merrier (Cambridge Sunrise Rotary Club), Mike Jennings (Cambridge North Rotary Club), Rena Hawkins (Preston-Hespeler Rotary Club), Laureen Van Groningen (Cambridge North Rotary Club), and Melissa and Joe with Kaiden (kneeling front row)

Year-End BBQ

By | Club Meetings

On a hot summer night in 2019, the members of Cambridge North Rotary Club and their spouses gathered at the home of Mike and Susan Jennings, who were gracious hosts.  We imbibed various varieties of beverages, and took in a great BBQ, all as organized by Larry and Anita Olney.  The members then retired indoors for some formal celebrations.  First, we recognized those members having perfect Rotary attendance for differing numbers of years (Laureen VanGroningen – 1 year; Mike Jennings – 2 Years; Al Fox – 20 years; and Peter Ashenhurst – 33 years!).  Next, President Mike Jennings declared Stephen Witteveen to be the 2018-2019 Rotarian of Year.  Finally, a Paul Harris Fellow was awarded by the club to each of Peter Ashenhurst and Michael Jennings, along with a presentation by David Mitten.  Named after the founder of Rotary, a Paul Harris Fellow is Rotary’s highest recognition, and our club’s tradition is to award a “Paul Harris Fellow” as recognition for service to Rotary above and beyond the call to duty.  Our club has given out 56 such awards over its 45 years.  The formal ceremonies concluded with the presentation of the President’s Pin to our new president, Laureen VanGroningen, and the presentation of the Past-President’s Pin to Mike Jennings, along with a gift for Mike’s years of service as President of our club.  We then recognized our hosts and the Olneys for the success of the evening.  Great fellowship and good times!

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